Take a veggie voyage

Be meat-free during Vegetarian Awareness Month

It’s that time of year again: time to ditch meat. Yes, yesterday (Oct. 1) was World Vegetarian Day, the kickoff to Vegetarian Awareness Month. So if you’ve been entertaining the thought of going vegetarian, now’s your opportunity to give it a go.

Look to the North American Vegetarian Society to help you get started. Every year since 1977, this nonprofit educational organization has promoted the vegetarian lifestyle by encouraging folks to discuss vegetarianism and to host activities, such as meatless potlucks and parties during the month of October.

This year, the organization is asking folks to enter its contest by writing in about their activities and outreach. The individual who comes up with the most outstanding activity and the group representative with the most clever outreach will win registration, lodging and meals at Vegetarian Summerfest—an annual weeklong educational conference with expert speakers.

NAVS also has a Web site (www.worldvegetarianday.org) chock full of ideas for current veggie-only eaters looking to spread the word on going meat-free as well as nonvegetarians looking to make the switch.

Here are some of the benefits of vegetarianism listed by NAVS:

• Reduces the risk of major health complications, such as heart disease, stroke and cancer.

• Offers a solution to feeding the world’s hungry by using grains and other crops more efficiently.

• Saves animals from poor factory-farm conditions and painful slaughter.

• Conserves limited freshwater, fertile topsoil and other vital resources.

• Halts the environmental pollution of the meat industry.